It appears from his videos that Paul Sellers uses something like this for assembly but a 4 oz. mallet like this one with replaceable nylon tips with his chisels, so maybe you'll want to ask for/get your favorite woodworker both:
If and when you make a woodworking bench, and you decide that it needs a tool tray, somehow it seems to draw people out of the…woodwork. Some of the people lurking in the woodwork may be completely normal, and some may be completely wacked. Either way, for whatever reason, when you combine a woodworking bench and a tool tray, it somehow, some way, gets other woodworkers all worked up. When I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was adding a tool tray to my workbench I got a little bit of backlash over it. I didn’t necessarily care. Once I make up my mind to do something, there are few people who can change it; so I went ahead and added the tool tray without regrets. According to my calculations, a tool tray would not affect my woodworking or the functionality of the workbench in any way, shape, or form, but that was all in theory. This past weekend was the first time I actually used the “new” bench.
Before I go on, I have to say that the tool tray I added to the bench probably represents the worst woodworking I’ve done in years. The tray is not truly square to the bench, the back sits lower than it should, making it worthless for support, and the boards I used were not all that great, meaning they were bowed and had slight warp. Another thing; the way I attached the tray to the bench is not all that great, either. Had I built the tray into the top when I first made the bench (like I should have done), it would have turned out much more nicely. My retrofit was not technically sound. At that, I have absolutely no fear of it becoming loose or unattached, or even “sinking”, but what I really should do is add another support board along the back to connect all three sections of the tray, that, however, is another story. Anyway, with all of the negative aspects of the tray out of the way, I am happy to say that the bench performed just fine.
Sunday morning I had a few simple things that needed to be done at the bench, which included sawing a board to length and boring two holes in it. The bench worked fine. I had no holding issues, no support issues, or no clamping issues. Like I said many times before, I woodwork almost exclusively on the front 12 inches of the bench. My new bench top is effectively 17 inches wide, that is more than enough for what I do. I do not assemble furniture on the bench, and if I may be so bold, I do not recommend anybody else doing it either. Workbenches are fine for assembling drawers, small boxes, frames, and certain sub-assemblies, but they suck for full scale work. Most workbenches are too tall to use for assembling larger furniture, that is unless you like working off of a step ladder; I don’t. If you are like me, and decide that you are not going to use your benchtop for assembly, you do not need the traditional 24-30 inch wide top, though at the same time it certainly can’t hurt having it. I sacrificed width for a tool tray, and on my first attempt at using it I was successful. For example, when I finished sawing the board to length, I placed the backsaw neatly in the middle tray, where it sat at arms length, yet completely out of the way of my work. The same thing can be said of the brace and bit I used, once I was finished with them they went right into the tray, out of the way but ready to be used at a moments notice. I call that a success.
The bench top still needs a little work. I currently have a row of just four dog holes; that row probably needs to be expanded to at least seven holes, or possibly nine. I also plan on once again adding the base to my Kreg Clamp. The Kreg clamp works great, and is easy to remove when not needed. Once those minor modifications are made, I will use the bench as normal and do a little more evaluating. At the moment I can’t see myself doing much more to the bench. I’ve had nearly four years to figure out what I like in a workbench, and I described those things in detail on several other blog posts. I went the tool tray route with my bench, though it seems that few other woodworkers use them anymore, just because that’s the trend I guess. I don’t like following trends to be honest; I like to think for myself, I like to discover things for myself. I like the road less traveled by, and so far that has made all the difference.
Moving is a good time to sort junk & throw out some stuff. Moving the shop is no exception. I got to the small bookcase & sifted through some magazines…I had long intended to go through the back issues of Antiques & Fine Art and snip out the photos and articles that might be useful, and ditch the rest. I can save 2 feet of shelf space by doing just that. I ran across this advertisement from a 2004 issue of the magazine:
I had never seen this box before it appeared in this ad…and I have never seen it otherwise for that matter. But to me, it resembles the work in the cupboard at the MFA that I worked on some years ago. http://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/?s=MFA+cupboard
To review that project – the MFA owns a 1680s/90s cupboard base. They asked me to make a top to go with it, but worked to look “as new.” It was a great project, one in which I had lots of help from their conservation people and those at Winterthur Museum as well. Here’s my result, before it was installed at the MFA.
To get to that, we studied the related objects. In all, we only knew of 4 pieces from this un-identified shop. Here they are:
First is the MFA cupboard base. The top drawer is carved on a shaped drawer front applique – and the stiles are carved below this drawer. Plus false muntins on the 2nd & 3rd drawers. Highlighted w paint.
The chest wth drawers at Concord (MA) Museum is a great example of this guy’s work. It’s all kinds of weird in its construction, but the carving and paint are immediately recognized.
A detail of the carving:
This old photo of the cupboard head at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY shows what was left c. 1900 or so. They had the base too, but this one I cropped when I was studying the cupboard’s upper case.
The box at Winterthur is a fine example, I especially like its small size. It’s dated in paint on the side, I think it’s 1698.
You might remember one of my interpretations of this box just the other day:
When I ran across the photo at the top of this page in the shop today, I started to make out in my head how to lay it out…within a few minutes I figured it would be quicker & easier just to lay it out on wood & carve it. so I did.
I tilted the board a bit, to try to show the layout scribed w a compass…it’s a bit hard to pick out. But it’s there.
What fun! Once I got that out of my system, I went back to sorting & cleaning.
While getting ready for the big move of shop machinery this coming weekend — packing, sorting, throwing out, and disassembling — while packing I was reminded of this snazzy little ultra low-tech air scrubber I built for the basement shop several years ago. Since my shop is directly under the living space of the house, and I am a varnish and glue sorta guy, my need for odor control was pretty prominent. I came up with several solutions, ranging from dealing with small amounts of fumes through the need for spray finishing when the need arises.
This little beauty is one I built for the control of the nuisance fumes attendant to using hot hide glue and solvent based coatings systems. It took about fifteen minutes to make, and works so well that I have never received a complaint about basement stink.
Here is all you need to make this air scrubber, which can perform flawlessly for pretty much the rest of your life.
1 recycled computer fan
1 cardboard box about the size of a cube slightly larger than the fan frame
1 salvaged power cord (I routinely snip and salvage the power cords from EVERYTHING that gets tossed around here, it’s a circle of life thing)
1 piece of scrap plywood the size of the box
a jar of clean activated charcoal aquarium filter medium
a hot melt glue gun and a few screws and bolts, etc.
some scraps of metal window screen
First place the fan against the top or bottom of the box, mark and cut a hole the size of the fan blade.
Cut a piece of the metal window screen to fit over this opening, and glue it in place with the hot melt adhesive.
Since I wanted a down draft unit, I attached the fan to the box to cover the opening such that the fan is blowing into the box. I used small nuts-and-bolts from the box of miscellaneous fastners. Using a recycled power cord I wired it up. (my fan is a bit askew because I dropped the unit several years ago and the bolts pulled out, and I did not have another box the right size at the moment, hence the new orientation with new bolt holes)
Cut the scrap plywood to fit the opening of the box, and drill a series of holes to allow air flow. Glue a piece of the window screen to one side of the plywood so that all the holes are covered.
As my scrubbing medium I used aquarium filter activated charcoal purchased at a local pet store. I poured some of this into a pasta screen to allow the littlest pieces to fall out. The remaining charcoal, beginning with the size of rice grains and larger will be used as my air-scrubbing medium.
I turned the box over so that the fan was on the bottom and filled it with the activated charcoal. After shaking it gently a bit, I dropped the plywood square into place and pinned it there with some small screws. I cut out some openings to make four legs and four air channels for the downdraft flow, and the unit was finished.
The unit works well at scrubbing nuisance odors out of the air 24/7/365. this one has been providing yeoman’s service for almost ten years, although I swap out the charcoal every year or so. I especially like the fact that at about 1 pound I can pick it up and move it to wherever I am working with small amounts of solvents or the like. for example, when I am polishing metals or tortoiseshell I simply place the scrubber on the bench right next to where I am working, and don’t even need a fume mask.
Will it keep the living room from stinking if you are using gallons of paint remover in the basement? I’m guessing the answer would be a NO! But for ongoing odors from shellacking, gluing, polishing, and a little spot spraying with aerosol, it works fine for me. More intensive applications require a larger unit I will write about soon.
Raney Nelson, 44, a woodworker, toolmaker and father, was killed Saturday by a piece of flying debris in his Indiana workshop.
While medical authorities are still working out the details, Hancock County Coroner Tammy Vangundy told the Greenfield (Ind.) Daily Reporter that Nelson was struck by several jagged pieces of wood that looked like they came from his workbench area.
According to Hancock County EMS reports, when medics arrived on the scene, they called the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office because it appeared that the workbench had “exploded,” though the Daily Reporter said no explosives or accelerants were found at the scene.
Though I saw Nelson briefly at Woodworking in America, the last time I got to talk with him at length was during the French Oak Roubo Project in Barnesville, Ga. We built our workbenches side-by-side during the week, and it is a bit unnerving to think that Raney was killed by his own workbench.
We all knew the moisture content in our benchtops was high, but I had no idea that a bench could rip itself apart to the point where it would become a porcupine of deadly projectiles. I suppose this is why the slab-top workbench was abandoned more than a century ago. It’s just too risky to human life.
Remember kids: Sjöbergs save lives. It’s not just a marketing slogan.
— Christopher Schwarz
The following is my photo tribute to Raney and his bench.
Filed under: Personal Favorites, Uncategorized
I worked all day on the bed and made good progress. The large mortise holes in the footboard are done and I started the tenons and fitted the first one mid afternoon. These mortise and tenons are quite big for furniture at 3/4″, but they cut quickly and I had them done in quick time.
I do use bandsaws for larger stock cutting…
When you make beds it’s always the mattress and box spring that determine the dimensions. And you kind of work from the inside out using these dimensions to establish the positions of the rails in the posts. I am using oak because it’s indigenous and replenishable. It’s also strong and reliable, attractive and very workable. As the mortises deepened, the waste wood gets harder to lift from the holes but then the rhythm sets, my pace increases and the holes meet from each side in the centre.When the tenons begin I feel the awkwardness of large tenons under my saw. The carcass saw is too small and the teeth too. A 10ppi handsaw rips well down the tenon cheeks and I leave the tenons fat for slimming down with the chisel and the hand router. To plane down to dead width I use a couple of methods. Method one involves the use of a plate I devised and made to fit the Veritas router five years ago. The plate is a high-grade aluminium I salvaged from a scrap dealer for a few pence. It’s 6mm thick and the width of the router plane. Any router plane will work. I can also elongate the wooden block used in the poor-man’s router to do this. All I need is a 1/2″ chisel. You can see that I tapped the alluminium to receive the screw thread of one the router knobs. I remove the knob and relocate it in the plate. Two sets screws through the existing plane body secures the plate to the plane. I use method one to get close and then finish the work with a wide chisel, a Veritas shoulder plane and then a a #4 or 4 1/2 smoothing plane. The surfaces end up smooth and level and so they marry the insides of the mortises. Method two is to use the shoulder plane against the side of shoulder after ripping the cheeks and cross cutting the shoulder. Once down to the line I shift to the smoothing plane and plane across the grain until I reach the gauge lines and the face created by the shoulder plane. This and the other method makes for easy tenon cutting on large tenons.
I use loner paring chisels to ensure the mortise cheeks are level as the depth of cut defies flatness in places. I feel peace as I pare down the faces and see the fibres lift in the cuts I make. I want the walls to reflect my intent to have a perfect mortise and so I cut squarely and accurately.
When the tenon touched the rim of the mortise hole I first consider the outside face because this is what will be see. I try the tenon on the outside rim of the mortise hole and allow it to govern my decisions as I plane. Usually it’s close, but I’d rather be fat to start. I won’t patch gaps. I’d rather recut a new piece.
Soon the mortise begins to accept its tenon. The tenon pivots at the tight spots and causes the wood to shine a little where the friction is. I use this to locate high spots that I must remove. The shoulder plane works well, but so too the smoothing plane if it’s away from the shoulder. I work both sides of the tenon if shiny spots appear on both sides.
I mentioned before that the rounded tenon ends come from a Stanley smoother and a flat file. The corners come from a 1″ chisel but again followed by the flat file. Each tenon is fitted the same way. Tomorrow the foot board main frame will be concluded and I start the additional features.
As promised (long ago), here’s a quick video of how the collapsible bookcase works.
It still wobbles a tiny bit at the corners; I’m fixing that by reducing the hinge clearance. Still, even though it wobbles a wee bit, there is no danger of it collapsing. It is surprisingly strong.
This version is built to the same size as the original. It’s a bit small for modern books, but I see no reason the mechanism cannot be used on larger casework.
The project was a ton of fun. And even though it is dirt-simple – hinges and a dado – putting it together was like a Three Stooges episode. I almost got poked in the eye a couple times by a flapping shelf or case side.
I have just a little more clean-up on the edges and I’ll be finishing this with garnet shellac and black wax.
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Campaign Furniture
For the past few weeks, our bloggers have been hard at work in their woodworking shops. Not only are they working on their gifts for friends and family this holiday season, but they have also been working on their 2013 Holiday Woodworking Tool Wish Lists. In case you are still working on yours (or haven’t even started), here are a few of our own wish lists. And don’t forget to make your own woodworking wish list on our website by CLICKING HERE.
Today we’ve got our new Product Tour Guide video host, Chris Adkins wish list:
It is that time of year again when my wife hands me a Highland catalog and tells me to start circling what I would like to have under the tree this year. Now chances are I won’t find them all parked in my living room floor this Christmas morning but it gives me a great chance to reflect on what tools I think my shop could benefit from.
Here is a list of 5 products that mark the top of my list:
1. Auriou Rasps – When looking for design inspiration I find that anything without straight lines gets my attention first. Shaping and curves gives a project the next step in creativity and a good quality rasp a great way to get there. Auriou Rasps are hand cut and designed to cut fast and leave a smooth surface.
2. Scott Meek Smoothing Plane – Scott is not only a good friend of mine but a very talented plane maker. His planes have taken wooden hand planes to the next level with craftsmanship and beauty.
3. Hirsch Carving Tools – I have often said that I don’t consider myself a carver although I have carved several pieces. I have a few Hirsch carving tools but was inspired at Woodworking in America this year to try a few new techniques. So a few more carving chisels wouldn’t hurt.
4. Festool TS 55 REQ Plunge Cut Track Saw – One of the down falls about working in a shop small shop by yourself is that it is often difficult to handle large stock. A track saw is a great way to break down sheet stock but also for cutting things like table tops that can be too hard to handle on your own.
5. Sawstop 10” Professional Cabinet Saw – I have had a few opportunities to use the saw at Highland over the past few months and have been very impressed with how well it preforms. I have used an older table saw for years and it has worked great but I can see an upgrade in the future. Not to mention the fact that my wife appreciates the safety so that I keep all of my digits.
The post 2013 Holiday Woodworking Tool Wish List – Christopher Adkins appeared first on Woodworking Blog.
Brian Denmeade, of Columbiana, Ohio, is the lucky winner of a Festool Kapex compound miter saw and Festool CT 26 dust extractor. Brian has been woodworking for 35 years; he enjoys making furniture for his family. You can see a small sample of his work below. Congratulations to Brian.
Im Herbsturlaub habe ich meinen Vater nach Schweden umgezogen. Wir hatten eine nette Woche und ich habe den Snikkar Schuppen ausgeräumt. Diesen Hobel habe ich aus Spaß geschärft, auf einem Stein, den ich auch fand. Gestern bekam ich dieses Bild von meinem Vater: er hobelt!
I know that my recent blog entries have been lightweight at best – thanks to Jeff Burks for picking up my slack. I’m determined to finish writing this “Campaign Furniture” book by Dec. 31, and so all my energy is going into the laptop.
And the benchtop.
Today I’m finishing up the collapsible bookcase – the last (I hope) project for the book – and none of the boards were behaving when I planed them. That usually means something is out of kilter – the plane’s sole or the benchtop. It was, of course, the benchtop. This bench is the one I built during the French Oak Roubo Projects in Georgia this summer. Until recently, the benchtop was settling in gently.
During the last two weeks, things got ugly. The benchtop itself has shrunk more than 1/16” in thickness – and shrunk even more near the dog holes and planing stop. This is, of course, totally expected because the holes expose more end grain to the atmosphere.
That doesn’t bother me. What’s distressing is the glue joint has opened up a 1/32” at the surface of the benchtop for almost 24”. The opening isn’t deep – less than 1/4” – but it looks like a gaping maw when I think about everything I did to get that seam airtight while gluing the benchtop.
It is what it is. Chances are it won’t fall to pieces.
But I have to get the top flat tonight so I can finish up this bookcase before the snow arrives. (It’s no fun to spray shellac in a snowstorm.)
— Christopher Schwarz
Filed under: Workbenches
A few notes from the shop – it turns out I will not have any more spoons for sale this month. A couple of people wrote & ordered some, and those I have just about done. But I decided not to tackle more. It was getting too hectic, and I have enough to grapple, cleaning out this stuff.
I will have one more carved framed panel, if anyone is interested. I cut the frame at the Lie-Nielsen event at Phil Lowe’s the other day…so I just have to clean it up a bit, and take proper photographs.
Meanwhile, the best day in the shop in ages was Sunday, Daniel came back. Can’t say too much, he’s making a Xmas present. But we had a great time. Being in the public eye 8 months out of the year means the kids only get to the shop during the 0ff-season. So we’re making the most of it right now.
Then, this red-bellied woodpecker sat right out the upstairs window at home. You can tell he’s a red-bellied, because the red head is not all-over. I didn’t name these creatures…in the last shot you can actually see a smudge of red down near his nether parts. That’s where his name comes from. His belly is mostly white, with a streak of red. a faint streak.
I’ll be posting my teaching schedule for 2014 soon. It’s a busy one…
The latest issue of Popular Woodworking magazine strangely sat unread in my living room since it arrived nearly two weeks ago. It’s not that I didn’t want to read it, because when it arrived I quickly scanned through it. Usually when I get a new issue I will do one of two things; either read it right away or bring it to work to read during break. Neither of those things happened this time around. I was very busy leading into Thanksgiving, and then I got sick. When I say I’m sick, it isn’t “mommy I have a tummy ache” sick. I was laid up for nearly 5 days with the flu. I even missed two days of work, which almost never happens. So during that stretch I didn’t do much of anything, let alone read a magazine. So yesterday afternoon after football, and today during my break at work, I read the latest Popular Woodworking cover to cover. My impression? Another extremely good issue.
You may ask, what happened to the angry, foul-mouthed, vitriolic, cynical guy who used to write this blog? Nothing, I’m still mostly here. The truth is, I don’t suck-up much. It’s not me and it doesn’t look good on me, but, I am all for giving credit. Frankly, Popular Woodworking has been great over the past six months. In fact, when I did my magazine review post I had it second to Woodsmith. I still like Woodsmith a lot, but PW may now be at the top of my rankings. I’ve said this before, but I nearly let my subscription expire last year. I am glad that I didn’t. Both the old and new staff are doing a great job, and Christopher Schwarz, love him or hate him, is contributing more to the magazine with some very good projects and woodworking profiles. The best part is that I know that it can and will improve even more, you can almost see it coming.
There were several really good sections in the latest issue. The first thing that caught my eye was a pretty ingenious little idea in the tips and tricks section for a saw till. Roy Underhill’s article about combination planes is another winner, as is Christopher Schwarz’s profile of Australian tool maker, Chris Vesper. Vesper seems like a very nice guy, but he can’t seem to figure out why he can’t find a girlfriend even though he basically lives in a shed that doesn’t have indoor plumbing behind his parent’s house, which it also seems is somewhere in the middle of nowhere. He may make world-class tools, but he doesn’t know squat about women. Anyway, my favorite article is by Glen Huey, and is about lock hardware. Though I am no locksmith, I always enjoyed the inner workings of a lock, and this article sheds some light on that subject. Not only that, it introduces some lock terminology, which is always nice to know when you are planning on adding a lock to your work.
So, at the risk of once again royally sucking up, I have to say that Popular Woodworking magazine has published another great issue (Dec 2013 #208 if you need to know) If you haven’t checked it out, please do. I’ll be honest, I only read two woodworking magazines anymore, and both have been great. I’m having trouble finding stuff to complain about, which I’m finding to be upsetting. In all seriousness, PW continues to do some really good things, and if I have the right to criticize, I should also have the responsibility of praising when it deserves praise. For the last six months, Popular Woodworking magazine certainly has deserved all of the praise I’ve given it. If you are a woodworker, and you aren’t reading it, I really think you should start.
The guard on sentry duty at Prague castle, complete with aviator shades has to be one of the ultimate pics of coolness I've ever seen, but equally as cool and one of the most exquisite things I've ever handled is what we brought back….
…from Moser Glass. The decanter is only around 150mm tall and complete with the two small glasses cost in excess of four figures Stirling.
Suggestions for a cabinet?
I’ve worked with wood all my working life so far now and I can’t imagine not doing it. Today I begin making a king-size Craftsman-style bed from oak. I suppose it’s really more craftsman-inspired in that visually it could be said to be like another, but I am designing this one from scratch. I have never copied a design in my life and so I don’t intend to start now. Often woodworkers are inspired by the work of another and design something that has a feel of a design from someone else or a definite copy of a period piece.
This weekend my friend, Duncan, came by to learn some saw sharpening. He came with a lovely Ash chair he had designed and made by hand. It was a simple, uncomplicated design that lent itself to hand tool work and we talked about how it could be made using mostly hand tools as this one had been made. I thought the bandsaw was the ideal machine to rough down wood to size and that he could easily eliminate the need for planer and jointer all together because chair parts are always small and lend themselves to hand work like planing and shaping. I started the ing about this coming year as we will be focussing a percentage of our work to power machines and addressing the issues that so confuse woodworkers as to what they really need to prep their wood for subsequent hand work. I have four bandsaws now and may well bring in a fifth one. I have one at my house and three at the castle. Why? Well, they take up very little room compared to other freestanding machines, I can load different blades in each machine and I can tune them to the different work I use them for. But we will be going into that much more deeply over the next few months. Also, me y needs are different than yours will be I think and we will indeed be looking at different machine operational options for you to better understand as we go. You definitely do not need to go out and buy four or five bandsaw machines; one good one will work just fine. I suggest you wait for a more definitive review when we start this next phase in our teaching. Well be looking at old and new options. Powerhouses and bench top models too. I have every kind of bandsaw on a daily basis many times a day since January 1965. That’s 14,400 days when I switched on a bandsaw several times a day. My first bandsaw stood 8′ tall, today I use a 14″ – 18″ bandsaws. I used the same Grizzly 18″ bandsaw I bought in 1988 until 2007. I replaced one bearing only in all of those years and the work I did was often done for several hours a day throughout that period. The machine never let me down once. I sold it on to another woodworker and as far as I know he’s still using it. New ones are very nice now and have several safety features I think are important. Perhaps one day SawStop will put their technology into bandsaws. Now that would be well worth the investment. At an auction a few short years ago I bought a small but very old US Powermatic 14″ with a cast iron body, cast iron back and doors for $25. It’s a great little machine.
Back to the Bed
I am using oak for the bed I am making. Today I pulled the wood and started to cut the rough dimensions on the bandsaw. Rails, side rails, head board and a zillion square uprights will keep me busy tomorrow. I will post most days if there’s something interesting about the work. Today was all sweat, grunt and shove. We will run the cameras too most likely, so you can maybe see some of what I do as I work.
Beds are simple projects and this one would be simple but for the size and the number of parts. I tuned up the bandsaw with a new blade installed so tomorrow I start cutting and planing which will take me all day. I could use my mortise machine for the mortises but I want this to be mostly hand work, so I can keep in shape over the holiday period.
I know a lot of my peers cannot fathom why, if I have mortiser, would I consider doing it by hand. Mostly it’s because they see it as purley hard and inaccurate work. I used to think the same way they do. You see, I think it’s that they just don’t know.